The fact that V12s are a vanishing breed has created even more of an aura around them and their bastard-rich owners. The fact that I am more a Ferrari rear-V8 fan doesn't humble me personally, but it does make me a wuss in the eyes of anyone who's really into Ferraris. Gotta do the V12, though, if you're to live the lifelong dream. No matter what you may give up in track day dynamics. Just make sure the track you're on has long straights and you'll clobber anyone else on Earth.
While there isn't a lot you can do to a front-mount V12 Ferrari to make it a real star at tight circuits or for frenzied getaways from the CHP on 17 Mile Drive after mugging Clint Eastwood (personal experience), you can add two superchargers to it just because. And so we come to Novitec Rosso's current raison d'tre: the two belt-driven Rotrex superchargers clamped to the F140C 65-degree V12. Why? Like I said: because.
Wolfgang Hagedorn started all this adventure in the manured fields of Stetten in Swabia back in 1989, upgrading Fiats. Easy to do actually, if you've ever driven a stock Fiat from that period. Then in '96 Hagedorn moved up to the Eastside and began upgrading Alfas. But he dreamed of Ferraris.
Starting in 2003, Novitec Rosso started selling its first supercharged Ferraris with the 360 Modena. The only previous V12 treatment Novitec had done prior to this 599 was on the Enzo in 2005--which ain't bad for starters--so they have experience with the engine.
Novitec takes the 599 with optional F1 shifting and amps it up while also making it look the business. Starting with the lowbrow data, horsepower in Stetten shifts upward from the standard car's 612 hp at 7600 rpm to now 797 hp at 7800 rpm, a 30 percent leap. Then the all-important (and forever underappreciated and misunderstood) torque moves from 448 lb-ft peaking at 5600 rpm to a crushing 607 lb-ft at 6300 rpm, a 35 percent leap. Acceleration to 62 mph (i.e., 100 km/h) jumps down to 3.5 seconds, while top speed stays relatively the same. Last I checked, 208 mph was plenty fast.
The stars of the show, apart from the mandatory ECU tweaks and higher-flow port injectors, are the two compact C38-81-type traction-drive Rotrex superchargers with external silicone oil pumps. Max boost pressure is actually rather discreet at just 5.7 psi, but again look what you're dealing with; this V12 doesn't need much coaxing to scare the crap out of any chassis. Massaging the throughput like this also allowed Novitec Rosso to shy away from lowering the 11.2:1 compression ratio. Hence also the ability to maintain the highly desirable, high-revving exhaust note for which most Ferrari owners are Ferrari owners. Helping make this possible without frying the whole deal is a new pair of double-the-capacity water-to-air intercoolers with extra watercoolers tacked on.
As a result of all this noble workmanship, I was able to get my yah-yahs out all over the local autobahn and through hill and dale on the two-lanes. Whereas the weight of the steering on the stock 599 is too lightweight, especially for highway cruising, I didn't bother to even notice this defect here, so intent was I on making music with the new Fuchs stainless steel quad exhaust with its bypass valves and 3.5-inch diameter tips. As you can surmise, throttle response is freakin' awesome now and it functions to perfection when mated to the 100-millisecond fastest shifts of the F1-Superfast gearbox. (The 70-millisecond shifts of the latest version on the 430 Scuderia would work even better, but that'll be in the next higher trim version from Maranello and come possibly, finally, with seven speeds in 2010.)